Some Of The Weirdest Parenting Trends Seen In The Past Century

December 13, 2017
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Everyone has their own unique style in parenting, and trends are forever changing and evolving over the last 100 years. Website healthyway.com has compiled a list of some of the weird and wonderful parenting trends seen throughout history.

We’ve all heard some strange old wives tales in our time, but some of the trends mentioned in this article are plain bizarre. Here I will summarize some of the main points, but be sure to check out the article in full for yourself.

Google Images

Nowadays we’ll take any opportunity to cuddle a baby, however in the 1910’s they believed you shouldn’t touch your baby that often because they thought it would make a child spoilt. This went on for many years with experts at the time encouraging parents to resist showing affection their children.

Would you let your child play near or around an open window alone? Probably not, but in the 1930’s experts seemed obsessed with babies getting fresh air that they invented a baby cage, letting children virtually hang around on the outside of a building in the ‘safety’ of the cage. Fun fact about these cages, thankfully no child was ever hurt while in one, not to the best of our worldly knowledge anyway.

The Baby Cage Getty Images

‘Cry-ercising’ a term believed to be associated with children’s crying being a good source of exercise for the child. In the 1950’s parents were encouraged to walk away from a crying baby believing that it was good exercise for the child.

Women in today’s world will work as long as they can while pregnant if their health allows. However, back in 1935 it was recommended that all pregnant women avoid any type of travel, even in a car. I can’t imagine that happening today mind you, but it worked then I guess.

However, if after having a baby, travel was necessary; someone came up with the idea of placing your baby with your luggage. In 1958, the Sky Cot was invented, a hanging crib that kept your baby safe and close to you, without having to spend an entire trip with a baby on your lap.

The Sky Cot Image from British Airways Speedbird Heritage Centre

In the 1910’s, apparently having ‘ugly thoughts’ could cause a mother to have an ugly baby. Yes you read that correctly.  Pregnant women were advised to think happy thoughts and not of ugly things if they could. It wasn’t just happy thoughts either; emotions affected your baby too. It was believed that women who breastfed while feeling angry could give their babies colic.

Bathing children had some quirky trends back in the day too. In the early 1900’s, people believed the best ingredient for a baby’s bath was lard. However, fast forward 70 odd years and parents were advised to only bathe their children twice a week. I can’t imagine doing any of those things today.

Tripe anyone? Image from Google

Children’s nutrition had some odd inclusions in the 1940’s. It was suggested that babies get fed liver soup when they were a few months old. Ok each to their own, however, a concept I struggle to understand personally, is the suggestion for parents to feed their baby tripe.

I understand the idea of coming up with a way to stop babies from putting things in their mouths, who knows what they might pick up. However, in 1942 parents wanted to stop their children from sucking their thumbs, so someone came up with a gag-inducing invention which combined nail polish, acetone and peppers to stop a child putting their hands in their mouths. Nevertheless, 20 years later parents were told to let their children suck their thumbs for as long as they wanted.

Getty Images

These are just some of the wacky trends discussed in the previously mentioned article, be sure to follow the link above to read it all in detail.  Have you heard of any more old time classic trends when it comes to parenting? Let us know.

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